Living in the northeastern part of the country means cold weather for the majority of the year.
The spring and fall seasons are chilly, windy and rainy. The winter conditions are downright brutal. We expect long months with temperatures below freezing and aren’t surprised by sub zero readings. The wind chill makes it dangerous to spend any length of time outdoors. The snow accumulates in feet and the air becomes especially dry. My house is equipped with a forced air gas furnace that is powerful enough to handle the local weather. The furnace sends hot air through the ductwork that is concealed inside the walls and ceilings, and there are supply and return vents in each room. The only problem with this type of heating system is that it makes the problems with overly dry air much worse. Because air that lacks sufficient humidity tends to feel colder than properly moisturized air, it can be tempting to turn up the thermostat. The furnace is then required to run longer, work harder and consume more energy. I end up paying higher utility bills and the house still feels uncomfortable. The dry air also pulls moisture out of furnishings, such as wood floors, antiques and musical instruments, causing them to crack. The dry conditions irritate symptoms of allergies, asthma, psoriasis and eczema. A lack of humidity can be blamed for static shock, chapped lips, frizzy hair, headaches and difficulty sleeping. After putting up with these problems for several years, I finally invested into a whole-home humidifier. It has made such a big improvement in the comfort of our home. It also protects our furnishings and helps with indoor air quality. The savings on my heating bills contributes to paying for the humidifier.